Muted response to Wilders’ anti-Islam film

No problems in the Netherlands or abroad have been reported following the long-awaited release of the controversial anti-Koran film by Dutch MP Geert Wilders, reports the National Crisis Centre on Friday morning.

The Dutch anti-terrorism coördinator has not increased the country’s alarm level which remains on the second highest setting, says ANP news service.
And a spokesman for the Dutch troops in Afghanistan told BNR Nieuwsradio this morning that there have not been any reactions to the film in the region although security would be stepped up.
On the political front, religious leaders and representatives from various ethnic minority organisations are due to meet the integration and justice ministers on Friday to discuss their reactions to the film.
Most of the Dutch and foreign media report that the film is milder than expected and lacks surprises.
Nevertheless the public prosecution department is to consider whether Fitna breaks the law, said prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende in a reaction on Thursday night. In a live televised speech he said the cabinet regrets the showing of the short film, adding that its only aim is to upset people.
The 16 minute film was put on the video website LiveLeak at 7pm on Thursday. The site said it had decided to publish the film because it is non-judgemental and supports the right to free speech.
Both the English and Dutch versions of the film were extremely slow to load and viewing quality was poor.
Fitna included a picture of the Danish cartoon whose picture of a Muslim with a bomb in his turban sparked off worldwide riots two years ago. Kurt Westergaard, who drew the picture, told tv show Nova that Wilders had not asked for permission to use the cartoon and that he would take legal action against the infringement of his copyright.
Westergaard also said that the threat against his life – he is in hiding from extremists – has increased as a result of Wilders’ film.
For more on the film’s contents, click here
For more reactions, click here
For background on Wilders, visit NRC Handelsblad’s special English-language site

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